I learnt to knit as a child and have continued to knit ever since. The first item I remember making was a garter stitch rabbit with long floppy ears and at school every year each class had to produce a garter stitch squares charity blanket and baby cloths.
I started by knitting from commercial patterns from women’s magazines until my mid-twenties when I then began to design my own patterns. I left work to start a family and bought myself a knitting machine. Initially I tried to teach myself but then found out about machine knitting classes which I attended for the next few years. It wasn’t until I started machine knitting that I realised how much I didn’t know about knitting! I attended as many courses on machine knitting as I could while starting to run my own knitting business selling children’s machine knitted garments.
In 1989 we moved to Fareham so I stopped running the business. This coincided with the opportunity to study the City and Guilds course in Machine Knitting as it was newly available in 1989. I completed the course within 2 years and then joined the Embroidery Part 2 course (as it was then called) largely to continue to develop my design knowledge and skills.
Around this time and through the ’90s I also started to teach machine knitting courses at my local FE college together with teaching the City and Guilds course, initially in machine knitting and then in hand knitting as well.
The hand knitting course was offered through The Mohair Centre, an Angora goat farm near Lewis in East Sussex. While teaching the course there, I received enquiries from knitters wanting to study the course who were not able to attend the classes due to distance, so I started to teach the course as a distance learning option in 2000.
As well as teaching, I continued to develop my own knowledge and skills in both knitting and design. I have for many years run a design group taught by John Allen FRCA (who used to lecture at Middlesex University and the Royal College of Art) and through John had work included in a major knitting exhibition in 2000/2001. I have demonstrated both hand and machine knitting at the V&A Museum and have been invited to teach in both Australia and France as well as around the UK.
I still teach the City and Guilds Hand Knit Textiles course as a distance learning option as well as teaching a wide range of knitting technique workshops at venues throughout the UK and on a knitting holiday in France.
You can purchase my Knitting Patterns through my Fiona Morris Designs website at www.fionamorrisdesigns.co.uk.
Please contact Fiona for further information.